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Balance can mean a lot of things, whether that be implementing a balanced diet into your life, a balance between social life and academics, or a balance between the assignments for your classes. What it really comes down to, is understanding that balance is required for a healthy and successful day to day experience. Required is a strong word, but I know that for me personally if I don’t have some sort of balance I start to fall apart almost instantly. So, let’s talk about balance, what it means to me, and how I’ve been working on it– or at least trying to. 

I’m about to sound as hypocritical as I possibly could, because my life is probably the least balanced it’s ever been, but let’s talk about it anyways. I would say the biggest battle I’m facing right now is how to balance school and graduating on time with work, my social life and self care. We’ve been in school for about a month, and for some reason I feel like I’m 10 feet under in a continuous downward spiral. This past week has allowed me to see some clarity, as I’ve had a few moments to breathe that I haven’t had up until now. 

The root of my issues is most definitely my classes. I’m either in class or doing homework for them and there doesn’t seem to be time for anything else. My biggest recommendation that I’ve found works the best is schedule, schedule, schedule. Scheduling and planning things properly is key in being able to have the time you need to take care of other important parts of your life. 

I find that writing down the most important things first works best. Then properly scheduling everything else around it. For example, if I know I work all weekend, and I have a lot of classes on Monday and Wednesday, I try to do as much homework as I can bear on those busier days so I have larger chunks of time to enjoy some peace. I know this definitely isn’t feasible for everyone, but it’s more of a mind game for me and makes me feel like I have more time in the week since I’m allocating more time to one day. 

I also find that frontloading my work for the week usually leads to a better week overall. By Friday, I’m so burnt out, and have no interest in writing essays, doing busy work, or responding to the random discussion board post that seemed like it came out of nowhere. Monday-Wednesday I try to spend every free moment I have doing my work due that week so that I have less to worry about at the end of the week. It really does work, and leaves me more content overall, so I highly recommend it. 

In addition, I have certain things that make me happy that I refuse to let go of no matter how busy I am. I could have the busiest day, but nothing is stopping me from getting my iced latte or matcha. It sounds cliche, but it always brightens my mood at least a little, and it isn’t something I’m willing to let go of. 

Lastly, even though it’s hard, I recommend letting go of some things to give yourself time for others. I’m able to function on less sleep than needed, so oftentimes I prioritize time with myself at night where I indulge in skincare, Netflix, a hot shower, and some tea before I actually go to bed. Oh, and cleaning my apartment is a must before any of that happens. I promise, a clean space will make you feel so much better and lead to productivity, so it’s a win-win. 

Overall, I recommend prioritizing taking care of yourself, even if it’s just the basics, and choosing at least one thing that heightens your mood on those tougher and more extensive days. Having a clean space is also optimal, and doing as much work as you can at the beginning of the week is super helpful. 

Balance is key! It is so important for a happy and healthy life to be getting what you need from all areas. Take care of yourself, prioritize joy, and do what you need to do to get things done while being the best version of yourself!

Emma is a Senior Advertising and Public Relations major and Women and Gender Studies/Journalism minor at The University of Tampa. She loves the beach, graphic design, photography, and traveling.
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